Will the Giro Donne move to a new date?

The Giro Donne currently clashes with the men's Tour de France, but is there room on the calendar to move the race?

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The Giro d’Italia Donne is over for another year, and while we were treated to some thrilling racing (and were finally able to watch it live) there was another competition going on that saw the Italian race lose out considerably.

While the juggernaut that is the Tour de France consumes the cycling world, content and coverage of one of the biggest women’s races on the calendar found itself buried beneath a constant slew of news and information spilling out of the Tour.

This isn’t a new problem, however, the Giro Donne has always taken place in July at the same time as the three-week men’s race. In previous years this has been just one of an extended list of issues the race had, with the main failing being a lack of live coverage, however the race being broadcast in 2022 made the clash even more apparent.

While those who are loyal followers of women’s racing tuned in to the new and improved live images of the Giro, the casual fan who may otherwise have been inclined to watch the action was likely to be too engaged in following the Tour to commit to another ‘grand tour’ at the same time.

In addition, the race’s proximity to The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift – with just thirteen days between the two – has seen the Giro suffer both through teams reserving their star riders for the French race and with being overshadowed by the excitement around the revamped women’s Tour.

The renewed focus on the clash between the two races has led to both the race organisers, PMG Starlight – who took over the running of the race in 2020 – and UCI president David Lappartient announcing their intentions to find a new calendar slot for the long-running Italian tour.

Next year’s race is currently listed on the UCI website to take place between June 30 and July 9, however, at the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Copenhagen, Lappartient said that the UCI was “working with the Giro d’Italia Donne to think about another date for 2023.”

“Also, for the visibility of the ladies to have this race during the Tour de France, it’s quite difficult to be seen, and the Giro d’Italia Donne is also a wonderful race,” he added.

“So, we are working on different options for 2023 first but maybe on a long-term strategy, with no overlapping in the women’s calendar, but also to avoid some big clashes like this [with the Tour de France]. The date in July will probably not be the one in the future for the Giro Donne.”

Giro Donne race director Roberto Ruini recently confirmed the intention to move the race. Speaking on the final stage of the race Ruini said: “We’ll see if we can position the Giro Donne in such a way that it can be enhanced. There are two dates that I share: the proximity of two great Tours, the French and the Italian [women’s events], and the overlap with the men’s Tour de France.” 

“These elements make us think about moving the date, it will have to be an issue to be agreed upon with the Italian Cycling Federation and the UCI; obviously I will try to do my part but others with me are in charge of making final decisions. However, by now the Giro Donne is really an event that must be protected, we have shown it and the athletes have demonstrated it,” Ruini concluded.

But where would the Giro move to? With the spring Classics taking up the early part of the season until late April, May belonging to a block of one-day and WorldTour stage races in Spain while June is the reserve of The Women’s Tour and national championships an earlier calendar slot would require a re-shuffle of other races.

The advent of the Tour de France Femmes means that moving the Giro to directly after the men’s Tour is now off the table, the newly-created Tour of Scandinavia and the long-standing Vårgårda races in Sweden, as well as the World Championships, put August out of the question. Meanwhile, September is Vuelta territory.

So while it is clear that in order to maximise the reach of the Giro Donne and ensure that the women’s peloton gets the coverage they deserve at one of the most prestigious races on the calendar, the Giro should not clash with the Tour de France. When it could take place instead is unclear.

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